Gail’s first race of the 2014 Season

FirstRace2014

It seems the season has been ongoing for ages and whilst I have been waiting for some work on my Jag to be completed my first race of the season was at Snetterton on the 200 circuit in my friend, John Sadler’s, Porsche 944.

In fact I’d never even driven a Porsche like this before and got just 10 minutes in qualifying to acclimatise to a car that is very different to the Jag. A fairly standard car with usual safety features and slightly stiffer and lower springs but not many other mods we were in Class C of the 750MC Roadsports series that differentiates the three classes by power to weight.

Class C is up to 140bhp / ton. The car handled really well as you would expect from a Porsche helped by the fact that the gearbox is mounted at the rear so she felt very balanced. We were running on three year old tyres that were far from their best so grip was a bit iffy.

We were a little disappointed to find ourselves 6th in class and 19th on the 23 car grid after qually although my main aim was to bring her home the same shape she started!

John started the 45 minute race and due to a gear box mounting problem struggled to get off the line and found himself 22nd after 50 yards with a lot of work to do. He had not raced on the track in this configuration and was not terribly happy with his performance in qually but was obviously enjoying the race. As each lap passed he made up a place and when the safety car came out after about 15 minutes he pitted early, as did everyone.

I was out and in perfect conditions was soon on the tail of the safety car and had quite a que of cars behind me as well. When the green flags came out it was mayhem for about 10 minutes as quicker cars worked their through and the large group of class B cars fought it out.

I had no idea where we were in class but knew that a couple of MR2’s ahead of me were probably in the same class so set about pulling them in along with another Porshe 924. I didn’t want to damage the car but I also didn’t want to give up any spaces so was defending like mad and trying to pass those in front. The quality of driving was very good with three of us going into Riches side by side at one point.

I’m happy to report that we recovered to 9th overall and 3rd in class so I picked up my first pot of the season. The car shows great promise; it was only the second time John has had it out. When the gearbox mounting gets fixed and he gets some decent rubber I reckon there is a second a lap at least.

Hopefully I will get to drive it again before the season is over, thanks John.